FEBRUARY 11, 1944
WASHINGTON, Thursday—Tomorrow the birthday of Thomas A. Edison will be celebrated. At six fifteen in the evening there will be a broadcast in his honor in which four great educators will participate. They are Dr. Charles Seymour, president of Yale University; the Rev. Joseph M. Egan, S. J., president of Loyola University; Dr. Rufus B. von KleinSmid, president of The University of Southern California; and Governor Spessard L. Holland of Florida.
By his many inventions, Thomas Edison has probably changed our world more than any man of his time. We are apt to forget who is responsible for the various things in our environment which we come to accept as a matter of course, but which we would never enjoy if someone had not started the ball rolling by an invention which led to commercial production.
For instance, this year marks the 50th anniversary of the advent of moving pictures. Mr. Edison contributed greatly to the development of this industry, and we only now begin to see what possibilities lie ahead not only for entertainment, but for mass education and the spreading of knowledge through the use of motion pictures.
It is well to remember and to honor our great men, and at the same time we should remember that they often had difficulty in getting a start. We should keep an eye out for the young people of today, who may have just as great contributions to make to the future if they get a helping hand from some of their elders.
While we are talking about the radio, I might add that I hope everybody listens to Mr. Archibald MacLeish's broadcast from seven to seven-thirty on Saturday evenings. He is author of the script and one of the speakers on the broadcast. The program "seeks to portray the common heritage of all the Americas."
I have been getting inquiries as to how many packages may be sent to prisoners of war. The Red Cross sends a food package which costs $3.75, and these packages are assembled and packed by Red Cross volunteers, financed by the Army and Navy and sent weekly to each captured American. The British Red Cross also furnishes one package a week to British prisoners of war.
Next of kin of prisoners are permitted to send an 11 pound package, 18 inches in length and 42 inches combined length and girth every 60 days, and they receive a label for such packages from the Provost Marshal's office. With the label goes a list of items permitted, also a special label for sending cigarettes through a manufacturer. In Buffalo, N.Y., the American Parcels for Prisoners of War Association, whose chairman is Mrs. Stewart C. Welch, sends practically the same food parcels with the addition of vitamin tablets, in case you want to supplement the food parcels sent by the Red Cross.